Today was a good day, for me anyway. I was supposed to have a gathering at my place of some moms from Maya's class. But I had to cancel that because Maya has had a fever on and off since Sunday morning. On Sunday, her fever spiked to about 104F in the afternoon. !! Scared me, but it promptly came back down after some Children's Motrin and a nap (which shows you just how wiped out she was since she NEVER admits to being tired, let alone taking a nap). And that night, she slept through with no problems. I kept her home on Monday just to give her another day to recuperate. She was fine all Monday until about 5pm, when her fever spiked again to about 102F. So, I called Maya's Room Mom to talk about the gathering. They decided to go ahead and have it but meet at a coffee shop. I was so disappointed. And against all hope, I asked Chris if he could stay home with the kids while I went. I had been looking forward to having this gathering, and even if it wasn't at my place, to meet up with the other mothers. Sweetheart that he is, he realized how disappointed I was and promptly said yes to my request. Good thing too because Maya's fever went back up to 102.8F this morning at 5am. So, I figured I'd take her to the doctor after my meeting.
It turned out better this way because I got to really talk with the other moms without having to deal with Nadia. It was nice, we talked about what we were going to do for the teachers for the holidays (we're a bit late on that) and also for Teacher's Day (in May) and for the end of the year. Then we talked about schools for next year (we're all looking since the current school only goes to Kindergarten) and what we were doing for the holidays. I let it slip that I'm an enthusiastic scrapbooker and everyone agreed that I should be in charge of the end-of-the-year gifts (a small scrapbook for Miss Mac and a framed collage for Mrs. Flores). I was actually happy about it, as it will help me get more involved and get to know other people better. And also, some of the other moms now want to come over and see my scrapbooks and maybe even get together to do crafts. YAY!!
One of the girls in Maya's Thursday playgroup, her mother gave me a ride home afterwards. She asked me about how Maya was doing and if I was going to take her to the doctor. I said yes, but I was just going to take her to the foreign clinic since I still don't have a regular pediatrician (I don't think about it until I need to take them to the doctor!). Well, she told me about a friend who is a doctor and has offices really close to me and speaks really good English. She made a quick phone call and put Maya's name down for the afternoon. She showed me exactly where it was since we passed it on the way to my apartment! Well, now that I had an appointment of sorts there, I had to go.
After lunch, I got the girls all bundled up (that took me about 15 minutes, what with the thermal underwear, the gloves, the scarves, the hats and coats for each!) and we went out. I had to get money out first, so we headed down the hill to the ATM. Halfway down, the wind howling in our faces, Nadia stops and declares "I not walking a-more!" and plants her feet firmly in place. I didn't blame her, the wind was piercing and agonizing. I decided to forego the ATM here and hoped there was one by the doctor's office. Hailed a cab and got in.
Now here is where my small victory comes. I was able to navigate the cab driver all the way to the doctor's office - TOTALLY IN (broken) KOREAN!! YAY ME! I said, "Hannam-dong, Hannam-ogeori" which means "Hannam neighborhood, Hannam 5-way-intersection". The Hannam-ogeori is the major intersection in that neighborhood and everyone around here knows it. Even more amazing than me saying it in Korean was that the driver understood me perfectly and knew exactly where I wanted to go! As we get closer to the intersection, I said, "Hannam-ogeori, wen-juk-orow". Very broken Korean for "At the Hannam 5-way-intersection, take a left turn." As soon as he turned, I said, "Yogiso", which means "stop here". He pulled over right in front of the pediatrician's office. I paid him, we all got out and I felt relieved and quite proud of myself. :-)
We got in and thankfully there was an ATM on the first floor of the building! YAY! Got some money out in case our insurance didn't cover everything for the visit. Anyway, got the kids in, Maya was seen, Nadia was checked too just in case. Maya has a mild case of strep throat (would have gotten worse if we had waited longer). The doctor suggested giving her a flu shot, but waiting for Nadia to see if she catches the fever and strep from Maya. Maya was not happy about the shot, but she was ok right afterwards. After getting the prescription for the antibiotics, cough medicine and fever medicine, I go to pay. We now have Korean health insurance, so the total bill was 28,000 Won - about $28. $3 for the office visit and $25 for the flu shot (which isn't totally covered by the insurance since it is an elective shot). We walk across the street to the pharmacy and the three medications cost me the equivalent of $10. The office assistant in the doctor's office told me that without the health insurance, the visit would have been about $50. Glad we have insurance now!!
So, after getting the medicine, we head out to hail a taxi and I navigate us back home. Again, in all (broken) Korean.
Wow, maybe I am picking up Korean after all. I know that it is because of Maya's lessons that I am getting some words and phrases. I actually understood some people around me at the pharmacy when they asked how much things were and I kind of am getting numbers too. I'm feeling very good about myself today.
Now, to get Maya feeling better enough to go back to school (she has a Christmas play on Friday!) and to prevent the rest of us from getting sick as well.
One small victory at a time!